This holiday season, get the whole family involved in creating some baked art (that you can eat!).

You will need:

  • a printer
  • scissors
  • a sharp knife
  • cookie sheets, parchment paper or silicone pan liner, a spatula and cooling racks
  • plastic baggies or icing bags
  • cookie dough and decorating icing (recipes below)
Step 1: the patterns

Download and print the linked pattern, and cut out the shapes you need to represent the members of your family. Set them aside until your dough is ready to cut.

Step 2: the cookies

This activity will work with any rolled-dough cookie recipe. You can use one of your family’s favourites, or try one of these:

Mix and roll the dough as directed in your recipe. When your dough is ready to cut, place the cut pattern shapes on the rolled dough and trace them with the tip of a sharp knife. Try to make the same number of each shape, so you end up with each member of the family having the same number of cookies to decorate.

Bake them as directed, and allow them to cool completely.

Step 3: the icing

As the cookies cool, you’ll want to make royal icing for decorating. If you have meringue power, here’s a great recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction; alternatively, you can use this lovely one from Both will work… and in our opinion, taste best with a bit of peppermint extract in place of other flavourings during the holidays.

Make up a big batch of icing, and then separate it into different bowls for different colours your family may want to use. Do you need red hair? Brown eyes? Use food colourings to create the colours your family will need to turn themselves into cookie masterpieces.

Spoon the various colours of icing into piping bags if you have them – otherwise, you can use plastic baggies with tiny holes made by snipping off one of the bottom corners. (Note: while more wasteful, the plastic-baggie option also allows you to seal the top, which can prevent big messes as kids get excited with their decorating.) Make sure to press out as much air as you can as you seal each baggie; this will give everyone greater control over their icing.

Step 4: the art!

Set everyone up at the table, giving each person a plate containing their own cookies, with the bags of icing in the middle.

Would you all rather trade family members to decorate? Do that instead! Whatever makes it more fun.

Step 5: photos

Make sure to document the day – and get a “cookie family” photo you can post on social media. And please don’t forget to tag us! @Brightling_Academy (Instagram), @Brightling Childcare Academy (Facebook)